Focusing on What’s Really Important

In our work we are served with a constant barrage of projects, deals, potential solutions, etc. How do we choose what is worth the time and effort to pursue?

On the Fast Company Leadership blog today, Peter Bregman wrote about this dilemma – the why not? dilemma. If we don’t think through the ramifications of our decisions, we likely don’t have enough invested to make it worth it.

Then where do you stop? Every deal seems like a good deal. And any one of them probably won’t take that much time. But if you take one deal, you’ll probably take the others (why not?) and all together the time and attention it steals becomes a costly distraction from your one, most valuable possession — your focus.

Maintaining our focus on what is most important to us in our work, our decisions and our strategy is vital to our success. Learning how to say no is hard but it is essential in order to prioritize the limited time that we have.

Bregman proposes three steps to maintaining this focus:

1. Know your focus.
2. Sustain your focus.
3. Protect your focus.

Protecting the focus you have taken time to discover requires practice – practice saying “no thanks” and being ok with it.

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